Emotional, melodic, dynamic, and powerful are words that come to mind when introduced to the band Porcelain.
Originally formed in Wollongong (Australia) and more recently based in Los Angeles (USA), Porcelain has a unique lineup and an original sound. Their sound is based on the dynamic vocals of female front Lo Roberts, the powerful melodic guitars of Ben Richards, the emotional layers of electric violinist (and ex Gnarls Barkely band member) Asha Mevlana and the strength of rhythm section Ewen Penberthy-Groves (Bass) and Michael Avenaim (Drums).
SOMETIMES the innocent victim in a relationship break-up is music – those special songs once shared with an ex, which immediately become off limits when it's all over. Now Sydney based, Porcelain capture the predicament with surgical precision on their debut single The Last Song I'm Wasting on You.
The insanely addictive, high-octane rock/pop track is a song is about those songs which sent to musical purgatory after a nasty split. The lyrics detail wasted playlists, deleted ringtones, burnt concert tickets and dodging songs on the radio. Powerhouse singer Lo Roberts states “if you could hear me singing this song then you’d know that we’re through...this is the last song I’m wasting on you." "It's funny, there's not that many songs about that experience, considering how universal that experience is," songwriter Ben Richards muses. "It's always the good music that soundtracks a relationship," Lo notes. "There are entire catalogues I've lost after break-ups. I've learned not to attach any of my favourite songs or artists to relationships in the future. Coldplay's 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' - that was a hard record for me to lose."
Richards detects a dangerous irony in The Last Song I'm Wasting on You. "It's our objective as a band to create great albums, but at the same time we realise that if they do connect in the way we hope they connect with people emotionally, perhaps someday other people will be deleting our album when they break up with somebody."
Great albums have been Porcelain's mission from day one. Formed by Ben and Lo in Wollongong and later winning Music Oz, the band made a tactical decision to uproot to Los Angeles some years later to hone their live performances.
"You arrive in America just as a band," Ben says. "You've left everything, your home, your family, your friends. Your only release is to be on stage. Those experiences shaped a lot of emotional content on our record."
Porcelain quickly found their rock and roll sea legs - playing constantly in LA, working their way up and down Sunset Boulevard – soon finding themselves building up a strong fan base that included record company scouts and influential journalists. "It was a full-time thing, playing four to five shows a week and travelling all over the US," Lo says. "We honed our craft over there. It's not that Australia has less quality musicians, far from it; it's just the sheer quantity of opportunity and competition in the US. There aren't enough venues, opportunities or rival bands here in Australia to shape a band at the same speed as in LA - it's one of the music capitals of the world. “I'm eternally thankful for the opportunity to be pushed into that. It set a personal standard for me that I may not have reached if I stayed at home."
The band were signed by Universal/Motown three years ago and started writing songs for their debut album. They made the most of their American opportunities. They wrote songs with Linda Perry (Pink), Mike Elizondo (Maroon 5), Holly Knight (Aerosmith, Pat Benatar), Mike Chapman (Blondie) and Mike Green (Yellowcard, Paramore). "We wanted to learn from some of the best within that world," Lo says, "so our tunes could have those big choruses, a big classic sounding quality, with the aim they'd stick around."
"We always wanted to be able to write and record our album in America. It just happened that once we created the record we wanted to create, a lot of people got excited about the record back in Australia and asked if we would be prepared to come back to release the record here first. Little did they know that was what we always had hoped for, to release first in our own country. Now we just have to let the results of what we’ve been doing all these years speak for themselves.”
The Last Song I’m Wasting on You is just the first taste.